Salmonflies are out in numbers on most stretches of the Lower Deschutes from Warm Springs down to Maupin. While there are plenty of big bugs around, the dry fly fishing has been sporadic and nymphing has continued to be the most consistent way to find fish. Some days have been better than others, but the fish are keyed in on large stonefly nymphs for the most part. We definitely encourage trailing a stonefly nymph with one of the many smaller nymphs that we typically see success on throughout the season on the Lower D. With all of the big bugs in plain sight, it is easy to get frustrated with the lack of attention the fish are paying to the size 6 dries that we all love to fish. The only way to truly experience the height of the dry fly fishing is to maximize time spent on the water over the coming days and weeks, and hope that you have the good fortune to have a rod in hand when the fish key in on the big dries. Even during the height of the hatch, surface action will vary from day to day and even hour to hour.
This is one of our favorite times of year to fish dry dropper rigs on the Lower D. Fish will feed opportunistically on adult salmonflies even when they are not entirely keyed in on them, so suspending a nymph below a large chubby should produce occasional surface action throughout the day. Some of the deeper, faster runs are more conducive to using heavy weight and an indicator, but we love to fish a dry dropper if the water allows it.
Suggested Dries: Burnt Orange or Golden Chubby Chernobyl #4-8, Chubby Norm #6-8, Fluttering Stone Salmon #6-8, Orange or Yellow X Stimulator #4-8, Rogue Stone #4-8, True Salmonfly #4-8, Salmonfly Egg Layer #4-6
Suggested Nymphs: Black or Brown Jimmy Legs #6-10, Lex’s Improved Stone #6-8, CDC Pheasant Tail #14-16, Olive Zebra Midge #16-18, Red or Black Two Bit Hooker #16-18, Black Lightning Bug #14-18